Intro to Plate Tectonics
Go to Mr. Mason’s website and click on the link for “Plate Tectonics – Dynamic
At the end of this website you will take a quiz. Not all quiz topics will be covered
in the following questions, so it is important that you read everything. The
following questions are only meant to guide you through the site, not to be an
exhaustive list of everything you need to know.
1. Click on “Start your exploration with Earth’s Structure”. What is the inner
core of the earth made of?
2. Which section of the earth is the only liquid portion?
3. You’ve certainly heard of tectonic plates before. What semi-liquid section
of the mantle do the plates float upon?
4. What is the thinnest layer of the earth? The thickest?
Click on the next chapter at the bottom of the page.
5. Alfred Wegener came up with the idea of plate tectonics. What three
pieces of evidence does the website source as being hints that all
continents used to fit together as one large land mass?
6. How long ago did Pangea break apart and start forming the continents as
we know them today?
7. Click on the “Continents over time” and do the activity as instructed.
When done, try to answer the bonus question. What do some scientists
think the earth’s continents might look like in the next 200-300 million
8. Move on to the next page. What are three ways in which continental
crust is different than oceanic crust?
9. What kind of plate boundary do we live on? (Find southcentral Alaska on
the map – what boundary is closest?)
10. Study the names and types of boundaries around each plate. You’ll need
to know these by memory for the next task. Once you’re ready, click on
the plates and boundaries challenge. How did you do with naming the 15
11. How did you do with identifying the plate boundaries? (This one was
harder for me, so don’t feel bad if you did poorly.)
12. Click on the next page. In general, where do most geologic events occur?
13. When an oceanic plate converges with a continental plate, it usually
creates a subduction zone. Explain why, and draw a simple picture of this
process below.
14. The pores in your skin allow oils, sweat, and heat to escape your body.
After reading the bit underneath the animation of a subduction zone,
explain how a volcano is like a skin pore.
15. How is a convergent boundary different when it is two continental plates
that are colliding and why is it different? (Or…how is a collisional zone
different from a subduction zone and why?)
16. In very basic terms, what is happening to the plates at a divergent
17. On land mountains are often formed by convergent boundaries, but
underwater it is often the opposite. Explain how spreading plates can
actually create raised undersea mountains at a divergent boundary.
18. Explain why a long, skinny lake might be evidence of a divergent
19. Explain what happens along a transform, or strike-slip boundary.
20. You will now look at three case studies. For each case, write the name of
the location, the answer for the first question on each, and the answer for
the second question as well.
a. Name/place:
b. Name/place:
c. Name/place:
21. You will now work your way through a 30 question multiple-choice quiz.
This does count as part of your grade, so please try to do as well as
possible. Any score under 60% will mean that you have to re-take it to
get full credit on this assignment. Any score over 80% will earn you extra
credit on this assignment. Do as well as you can and either show me your
score, have a parent sign this sheet stating how you did, or print it out.
You can take the quiz more than once, but you may not print out previous
versions of the quiz to help you through taking it again. (On the honor
system if completed at home.) Enjoy! 
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.